Friday, October 30, 2009

My Little Piece of Heaven is DONE....

So, my journey into minimalism is going well! I have given away probably 100 dollars or more worth of items on and have more to get rid of! We have successfully merged the boys into one room and they LOVE it. I personally enjoy the giggles I hear at nite before they fall asleep. It's hard to go in and remind them to go to sleep when they're so darn cute. By purging their toys they can now appreciate the ones they have. Max the fish is STILL alive and well. (So far!) and my sewing room is nearly complete!! The only things left are to make some nifty wall art for the wall and to get to work!!


I cannot wait to get to work! :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baby Einstein Not Make my Kid A Genius, Um What?

So I wake up this morning to this blog:
This blog proves what we've already known...letting your child watch Baby Einstein (BE) won't make them a genius.

Well slap my ass and call my Judy, I'm stunned!!

I mean for REAL!? Come ON! Of COURSE sitting your child in front of a television won't make them a genius!! Now, in defense of Baby Einstein, they say to use their products right you should 'Sit with your child' and interact with them, repeating the words, making music, etc.
Yeah, that's what I do with BE movies.

No, let's be real. If I wanted to sit and interact with my child--which I do for a good part of the day, I wouldn't need a TV. They have these mystical things called BOOKS, ART, and OUTSIDE that I can do that in.

So let's just put it out there...what do we really use BE for? A BABYSITTER! We use it so we can get 30 minutes of peace to check our email, paint our toes, sip our coffee, pay the bills or whatever you need to do. Is it the best educational choice for your child at THAT moment? Maybe not. But you know what's WORSE for a child's development? A mom who's about to lose it and may do something she regrets or a mom who loses herself in her job as Mommy and doesn't take time to be the woman she was before kids.
Part of our job as a parent is to teach our children to entertain themselves! I believe television and computers can be a HEALTHY part of that when done in moderation. According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day. How can we really expect our kids to NOT watch the occassional television when we are glued to it?

I am in no way upset with BE, I never in my wildest dreams thought the movies would teach my child things I could not teach them. I never thought they'd make my child a genius and I have nothing but respect for Julie ingenius mom who found a way to help moms and make a life for herself and her kids. Sure its for profit---HELLO This is the MOMENT we still have Capitalism!! And should!

I know I can teach my kids the alphabet, and I will. BUt sometimes a Mommy needs a break and BE movies can be that for you. Should your 1 yr old watch them all day long? No, that would be silly.But you know what, BE movies are more than that in our house. They are therapy. When my autistic child is super upset...guess what calms him down enough to come back to therapy or interacting? Baby Einstein.
So, sure you idiots, no BE doesn't make your kids geniuses. But save your tarring and feathering for something else.

I've got a Baby Noah to watch...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Renewing Experiment

So, I have a bit of a cold/flu thing this weekend and in my dayquil induced stupor, I pondered an idea. As my old buddy Rockerchic did once upon a time, and in an effort for an idea for an upcoming article for Handmade News, I would start the Great Renewal Experiement. (Nifty title still in the works.)

My plan: On my Etsy shop, I would spend the next 30 days renewing ONE particular item. I may renew other items if they are about to expire..I may not. (I just renewed some things ABOUT To expire.) So today is day one. The item in question which I shall renew EVERY DAY is: My Chalk Cloth Bag. At this time, Oct. 25th, when you search "chalk cloth bag" on you find 27 results. 10 of which are not mine. The other 17 are either my finished Chalk Cloth bags, or the pattern/DIY Kit I have for sale in my Destash shop. And of the 10 that are NOT mine, none look like mine. So I think this is good, it seems I have a unique item on a venue that is increasingly becoming NOT unique.
Now while I realize google searches are days old, so anything I renew, I won't see the effects of for some time, I also just searched google for "chalk cloth bag". Of the 457,000 results, on the front page, my DIY kit on ARTFIRE ranks number one. My etsy listings? Zilch on the first three pages which in Googleland means I won't be found because no one really looks past the first two pages.

So, the point? Well, it appears I have a unique item that if someone actually searched chalk cloth on Etsy, they would reasonably find me if I renewed every day right? So we shall see...DOES renewing every day actually get you sales? And at what cost? I will break down what this item costs me to make then factor in all the relisting and selling fees if it sells. I'll try not to be to boring but want to be accurate also.

So let the renewing madness begin...


Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Journey Into Minimalism Part Two

So, I am still on this journey to find my home. No, I'm not wandering the streets of my town lost, but I am still in the process of purging, cleaning, organizing and finding the HOME in my house.

The week in the cabin spurned an awakening inside me, causing me to immensely need to purge our belongings, for fear we'd end up on some reality show buried under toys.

Okay, so I'm actually not really a hoarder (I even share my fabric--ok I sell it..sorry no free fabric.) But we are a small family of four in a house full of CRAP. I don't even know how it got here. I know much of it was given, and as said in my last post, I'm not one to go endlessly shopping for new and pretty things. (except fabric). But I digress.

I have made some progress. Much has been given away on Freecycle and Freeuse, and some given to friends. But the pile behind my sofa is still HUGE. I've contemplated lugging it to the local resell stores, but really? I am a busy mother of two, and much of the pile is nonsense. Now there are some things I'll bring over there that could probably bring me a few bucks and that's fine. But most of it....back to we go!

What spurned this second round? My kitchen. I hate my kitchen. I despise my kitchen. NOW, this really sucks bc the kitchen is what SOLD this house to us. Its HUGE (ok in my definitions its huge). Large enough for an island and a 6 person table.

However, thanks to my handy little sewing habit, half my kitchen is comprised of computer armoire, sewing machine, shelves (full of sewing crap) and the cute little desk where I pay my bills--which would be fine, if boxes of OLD bills didn't surround it.

And as large as my kitchen is, the set up is crappy. Bad cabinet space, layout etc. (But I did not know these things when I was a house buying virgin 4 years ago.) Still, I COULD love my kitchen....if I got it back from the pile o' fabric, bobbins and rulers.

Thus leads us to--"The Great Kid Blending of 09". The kids rooms are your average size rooms, right? So WHY is it so hard to put two kids in one room? I mean they're under 4 feet tall, what the hell? Well, I've learned, it's because my kids have TOO MUCH FREAKIN CRAP! Again, we reference the in-laws for this one. Although I am VERY grateful to have my in-laws around and their gift giving is great, I have to STORE this stuff somewhere.

And I've also learned something else--inevitably, whatever you THINK a 4 year old might like and you purchase for him...he will not like it after a week. It just becomes another THING in his room. How can a child TRULY appreciate what they own when there is SO MUCH OF IT?

I also learned when your child has autism, they are not necessarily playing with toys appropriate for their age. Nor often do they even give a rat's arse ABOUT toys. My son wants circles. Lots and lots of circles. Sure, I keep age appropriate and developmentally appropriate toys around, but he could care less. He wants his damn circles and you best step back when you try to take them.

Sooooo, I decided it was time to merge the boys into one room. They handled it beautifully in our week at the cabin, why not give it a go at home?

Then I learned the crib didn't fit through the door. You have to take it apart. Insert expletive here. So said child is sleeping in his pack n play whilst I brainstorm a plan. (Not sure crib can survive another taking apart--this is the 4th kid it's been through.) Meanwhile progress is slowly being made--no pictures, it's too shameful to see right now.

And whilst I'm ranting, (I Love whilst. Its my favorite word other than "chocolate"). Let me address something. I have already received the "How can you make them share a room?" comment from several folks. To that I say, Shut the hell up. I mean, seriously...these kid have more toys, games, clothes, STUFF than I ever had and I was the most spoiled little poor girl you would ever meet. (Don't ask, long story, ask my sister.) They are not hurting for a darn thing. Personally I feel this: Mommy and Daddy pay the mortgage, Mommy and Daddy deserve a room to sew and play guitar without sweating it out in the kitchen or garage.

Then there's this idea....Eli has autism, it's no secret. But he's blessed with a big brother. Now while Harrison has his own sensory issues, I'd like to think they can be friends one day. I'd like to think them sharing a room will help them learn to WORK TOGETHER, SOLVE PROBLEMS, and APPRECIATE each other.

And if it doesn't, well I've got duct tape to draw the line down the middle of the room ready.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Journey Into Minimalism--Part One

I have recently returned from a week long church trip that involved my family spending the week in a cabin. This is as close to nature and camping as I like to get, with a full bathroom, kitchen and air conditioning. I dislike bugs very much, I learned.

I also learned I dislike the CLUTTER in my home. The minimalism of the cabin and the lack of television left me to reflect on what things I could change in my own home. We're a small family, hubs, myself, and two boys, yet SOMEHOW we've created this house full of CRAP. Much of it was given to us by my mother in law who buys the boys presents a lot. She's not spendy, she can bleed a dollar from a dime, so she gets great deals, but STILL! There are only so many toys a child can play with.

I admit I'm a former shop-a-holic. Growing up poor, once I graduated college and had a real income, I had to teach myself I didn't really need everything I wanted! My husband is a penny pincher like his mom so he balances me out and has taught me a lot.

Generally as a family we don't purchase much of anything new. Clothes shopping is maybe only twice a year. Furniture is only when it's so worn out you might injure yourself on it. Both our televisions were given to us, and we're not the huge plasma screen kind of people anyways. 

My one indulgence is my fabric and supplies. But even those I buy on sale. Of course I buy TOO MANY but still.

So here we have, a husband who never buys anything, a wife who buys too many supplies and then has too much inventory for her shops and has to STORE it somewhere, and two kids who get WAY too many gifts. Shove us all into a 3 bedroom house that should be plenty big.

Alas, it is not.

So, after a week of seeing how possible is it was to live with less stuff, I come home with a mission. As I unpacked from the trip I would also PURGE. And I mean REALLY purge. Not that half assed purge I do when I destash my fabric. (Alarmingly, the fabric you see in my Destash Shop is merely the tip of the iceberg.)

I started in the kitchen and worked my way around the house. Virtually everything is done except the sewing/work corner of the kitchen and the garage. Those two parts may require massive amounts of vodka to complete. Much got thrown away, and even MORE is in a pile to giveaway or sell.

I managed to fit all my inventory and supplies IN closets instead of in boxes behind my sofa. Now in its place is an enormous pile of toys/baby items to take to our local Once Upon a Child. Whatever doesn't sell, will get gifted to freecycle, freeuse and craigslist.'s bad.

Everything in that pic is going except the brown toybox way yonder by the window.

Then there are the clothes.

That is one tote, one laundry basket and three bags of clothing just in boys size 3 mos-18 mos!

I didn't even take a pic of all the stuff by the front door that is hopefully soon going to be on!

Once the purging is complete I will take pics of my nice, clean pretty house.

This could take awhile.............


Monday, October 12, 2009

I hear crickets...

I am back....from the woods.
Only killed 1 roach and 2 spiders...

Will be back soon to report much more, complete with pics :)

Sleepy time now...


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